Deserved goals from Josh Jackman and Warren Harris either side of the half-time whistle saw Neil Baker and Jon Underwood’s squad take control of the tie. But Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong’s low driven strike and Moussa Bakayoko’s back-post finish saw the game go to the lottery of the penalty spot.
Dartford came to Arbour Park in fine form and top of the National League South table, but it would have been easy to mistake Slough as strong favourites after the opening moments of the game.
Jackman posed a threat almost immediately down the right, finding space and lashing his effort just wide of Ethan Wady’s far post with just six minutes on the clock.
The Rebels continued to cause trouble on the right wing before Guy Hollis’ deep throw found an unmarked Ryan Bird on the penalty spot. The forward’s downward header trickled past the near post to prevent an early goal for the hosts.
Midfielder Paul Hodges started to apply more pressure down the middle in search for a breakthrough. A scramble in the penalty area saw the ball land at the feet of Hodges, but the attacker’s low driven strike was blocked well by the Dartford back four.
Hodges tried to force an opening again after finding space just outside of the box, but his well-struck effort was tipped wide by Wady.
Eventually Slough took a deserved lead. Jackman compounded his fine run down the right by unleashing a fierce strike into the bottom corner to break the deadlock in the 39th minute.
The Darts concluded the half with very little to take away from the first 45 minutes of play. Manager Steve King made two changes at the break, introducing Jordan Wynter and Noor Husin, with intentions of a switch in play for the second half.
But the Rebels, who dumped Dartford out of the FA Cup in October, began where they left off and chased down possession in search of a second. And they were successful after Wady’s clearance took a deflection from Matt Lench before landing to Harris’ feet. The attacker lifted the ball over the stranded goalkeeper to give the hosts a two-goal cushion on the 49th minute.
Dartford increased their intensity and started to press the Slough midfield and defence. But King wasted little time in calling his third and final substitution, Bakayoko, before the hour mark.
The visitors found Berkeley-Agyepong free in the middle and the midfielder did well to drop his shoulder and dispatch his strike into the bottom corner in the 73rd minute to give the Darts hope.
Moments later the away side found their equaliser. Jebb’s curling free-kick saw Jack Turner produce a fine fingertip save, but the effort came back off the post and Bakayoko was on hand to bundle the ball in.
Both sides mounted attacks to try and earn their place in the third round without a penalty shootout, and strikes from Jebb and Berkeley-Agyepong came close to seeing Dartford through, but the referee’s full-time whistle blew to raise the tension further.
Turner again prevented Jebb from finding the net after pushing his spot-kick away to put Slough in the driver’s seat. But Louis Lomas’ miss saw the tie go to sudden death before Jackman pulled his penalty wide of the post to send Dartford through.
Report: Daniel Lewis
Wady, Barham-Barrett, Meade (Wynter), Essam, Hill (Husin), Bonner, Berkeley-Agyepong, Ijaha (Bakayoko), Romain, Barham, Jebb. Unused substitutes: Allen, Marsh-Brown